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Poster: Freddie Jaye Date: Jun 21, 2009 2:09pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: are any of these public domain ??

Don't know if this proves anything, but I have a copy of "Class Reunion Massacre" that I picked up in a dollar-store bin.

I always thought that stuff was PD by default.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jun 21, 2009 11:13pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: are any of these public domain ??

Some DVDs companies use movies made between 1978-91 that have a valid copyright notice but are not registered with the copyright office. This is because copyright films that are not registered can not be defended in the courts and damages can not be sought by copyright owners.

Releasing a physical video or DVD is one thing, but hosting a film on the internet is another. Web hosting is governed by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act which has different penalties for using copyright works in the online environment.

Take for example a typical Mill Creek 50 pack "Drive In Classics" only 11 of the moviess (The Creeper, Savage Weekend, Snowbeast, Nabonga, In Hot Pursuit, Shock, Throw Out The Anchor, The Guy From Harlem, Rattlers, Beast From Haunted Cave, and TNT Jackson) are PD. The rest fall somewhere in between licensed or unlicensed copyright content. Those 11 would be safe for IA but the other 39 would be questionable.

This is because many of the large budget DVD distributors (particularly Mill Creek Entertainment, Reel Entertainment, Digiview Entertainment, BCI) have exclusive and sometimes non-exclusive licenses to some copyright catalogues (like BCI's with Crown International). Some even own copyright catalogues (DVD Ltd owns the Burbank "Animated Classics" series).

Then there's the recent trend with the major studios who have leased part of their catalogues to international broker's who license the films to "niche" DVD labels. 20th Century Fox, MGM and Universal have gotten into this through brokers like "Hollywood Classics" and "Pueblo Film" The other studios will no doubt follow, confusing the situation further.